Sometimes good can be the enemy of best. We can fill our lives easily with things that are good to do and ignore doing the things that are best for us. Be it spending time listening to our spouse, playing with our children, doing self-care or spending time with God, we can often choose good over best. If you are a people pleaser choosing to not do good in the effort to do what is best is particularly hard because you may disappoint others. What is Best for the rest of your day? Go do Best! – SW
Ephesians 5:15-16 So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil.
Recently, my brother returned from Papua New Guinea where he and my parents have been working with local leaders to build a Bible School that is focused on creating leaders that will positively impact their community and culture. One of the founders’ beliefs is that if you want to change a culture, you have to train people in things they have never been trained. Papua New Guinea is one of the poorest nations in the world and they have not been educated in so many areas that they do not know what they do not know. The people of the country literally would not think to do things differently because they have never lived any other way.
In their first graduating class (pictured here), a woman by the name of Mazo graduated and had an amazing testimony of pushing through obstacles for she had never attended school a day in her life; she arrived at Bible college with neither the ability to read nor write nor speak in English, the language in which classes were taught. In western culture we would not permit her to stay in the Bible school because she had not met the prerequisites of education, but her classmates rallied around her and taught her to read and write and speak English and she was able to complete her first year of Bible College. The female student had no belief that learning how to read or write or speak a new language would be hard, so in the course of one year, she learned all three.
There is no such thing as impossible in the ways of God. God has empowered us to win. We limit ourselves with our beliefs and understanding of things that we have been taught by our western culture and our family of origin. What does society tell you that you are capable of doing? What did your family tell you about yourself by how they treated you or how did they model how you were to do things by how they behaved? When I was a teen I had a belief that I was not good at math. It was a belief that had been handed down to my by my mother and my grandmother and it caused me to have poor grades in math because I literally believed I was not able to understand the concept. In my second year of college I was forced to take Statistics class as part of my required curriculum and by that point in time my belief system regarding what I was capable of doing had changed and I did relatively well in the class because I believed I was capable of learning and understanding the material. Our belief system limits us in ways we do not understand and many times we do not even realize what we do not know about ourselves. Trust me. I have been doing this counseling thing 20 years and I have never met a person who fully understands their belief system or how their belief system is impacting them. It’s time to allow our fellow classmates teach us what we need to know so we can graduate to the next level.
”Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Around this time last year I moved. It was exhausting and difficult, and every day I crawled in bed close to tears. Change is hard on so many levels and this is true in relationships as well as household changes. I was recently reflecting on how difficult it can be to change how you relate to your spouse when you have related in the same ways for so many years. Like moving, transition in relationships can be hard. You have to decide what you are going to keep and discard in your relationship transition. As people grow and change, what they need in the new relationship is not necessarily what was needed in the past. Many changes in the course of a marriage will impact what the marriage needs and what each person needs as time marches forward. Births, deaths, illness, the ages of your children, the work status of each person, spiritual crisis, emotional crisis, extended family issues, holidays and many other things will impact how your relationship needs to transition. The new relationship will require both parties to move around how they had positioned themselves toward one another. Rare is the occasion when how the furniture was positioned one house can be positioned in the same way in the new location. In all relationships moving, to the new way it is to exist will require some difficult conversations often filled with pain and hurt. The pain and hurt is usually so large that it is exhausting for the couple and yet they must push through the pain and exhaustion to get to the other side. One person cannot move the relationship alone. You just cannot carry the relationship to the new without both parties doing the heavy lifting and feeling the pain, but that is a hard task. Rare is the person who embraces emotional pain and allows themselves to sit in it until it can be moved and yet it is what is necessary to make the move together. Relationships cannot be moved to the new alone, but they require heavy lifting, pain and exhaustion close to tears. We cannot do it alone. We need the supernatural medicating power of God to assist us through all transitions as he has the power that we can lean into when we do not feel it in and of ourselves.
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.